Four Helvella (Ascomycota: Pezizales: Helvellaceae) species from the Cold Desert of Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India

 

Konchok Dorjey 1, Sanjeev Kumar 2 & Yash Pal Sharma 3

 

1,2,3 Department of Botany, University of Jammu, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir 180006, India

1 dorjeyusa@gmail.com, 2 sanjeevkoul222@gmail.com, 3 yashdbm3@yahoo.co.in (corresponding author)

 

 

 

 

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3057.3981-4

 

Editor: B.C. Suman, University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, India Date of publication: 26 March 2013 (online & print)

 

Manuscript details: Ms # o3057 | Received 06 January 2012 | Final received 07 August 2012 | Finally accepted 17 February 2013

 

Citation: Dorjey, K., S. Kumar & Y.P. Sharma (2013). Four Helvella (Ascomycota: Pezizales: Helvellaceae) species from the Cold Desert of Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(5): 3981–3984; doi:10.11609/JoTT.o3057.3981-4.

 

Copyright: Dorjey et al. 2013. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.

 

Funding: Junior Research Fellowship (Konchok Dorjey) from the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi.

 

Competing Interest: None.

 

Acknowledgements: authors wish to thank Head, Department of Botany for providing laboratory facilities and the first author acknowledges the financial assistance received as Junior Research Fellowship from the University Grants Commission, New Delhi.

 

 

 

For figures, images -- click here

 

 

The genus Helvella is a small assemblage of ascomycetous macrofungal species currently placed in the family Helvellaceae of order Pezizales of sub-class Pezizomycetidae; class Pezizomycetes, sub-division Pezizomycotina of division Ascomycota.  Kirk et al. (2008) included 52 species while Index Fungorum (2011) has entered 106 records in the genus so far.  Across the world, species of Helvella have been reported from Europe and North America (Anderson & Ickis 1921; Dissing 1964, 1966a,b; Dissing & Lange 1967; Kempton & Wells 1970).  As many as 12 species of Helvella are known to exist in India (Lloyd 1904–1919; Sohi et al. 1965; Kar & Maity 1970; Bilgrami et al. 1991; Joshi et al. 1982; Jamaluddin et al. 2004), out of which seven species have been reported from Jammu and Kashmir (Kaul 1971, 1981; Kaul et al. 1978; Abraham 1991; Kumar & Sharma 2010).  The present paper deals with four Helvella species from the district of Leh in Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Of these, three species, viz., Helvella acetabulam, H. corium and H. queletii are new records for India while H. macropus is the first authentic record from Ladakh region.

 

Materials and Methods

Ladakh region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir represents an important biogeographic province within Indian Trans-Himalaya lying between 32015–360N & 75015–80015E, and located at an altitude of 3,649m (Fig. 1).  The region exhibits unique topography, intense climatic conditions of low annual precipitation (80–300 mm), excessive dryness, extreme heat and cold (i.e., cold arid zone), intense solar radiation with high wind velocity and very low relative humidity (40–45 %).  During winter, the entire area is covered with snow and temperature drops to as low as -250C.  Specimen collections were made during July and August 2010 from different locations of Leh District of Ladakh.  Careful records were made of the habit, habitat, and substrates of these macrofungi in the field.  Macroscopic and microscopic features of ascocarps are based on fresh specimens.  Colour notations are as per Ridgway (1912).  For microscopic characters, a small section of specimen was first kept in 3% KOH to rehydrate the dried tissue and then stained in 1% Congo red and 1% phloxine.  Microscopic characters were microphotographed using a Sony N50 camera attached to a Olympus CH 20i binocular microscope, and measurements were made for each character for description of average dimension.  For identification and description, works of Soothill & Fairhurst 1978; Smith et al. 1981; Arora 1986; Purkayastha & Chandra 1985; Kumar et al. 1990; Atri et al. 2003 were employed.  The examined specimens have been deposited in the herbarium of Botany Department, University of Jammu with accession numbers (BHJU).

 

Results and Discussion

1. Helvella acetabulum (L.) Qul., 

Hymnomyctes (Alenon): 102 (1874)

Synonymy: Acetabula sulcata (Pers.) Fuckel, Jb. nassau. Ver. Naturk. 23–24: 330 (1870) (1869–70)

Macroscyphus acetabuliforme Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 772 (1821)

Paxina acetabulum (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. pl. (Leipzig) 2: 864 (1891)

Peziza acetabulum L., Sp. pl. 2: 1181 (1753)

Peziza sulcata Pers., Syn. meth. fung. (Gottingen) 2: 643 (1801)

Material examined: BHJU 182, 05.vii.2010, Humicolous, scattered, mixed forests of Salix excelsa, S. alba, Populus nigra and P. caspica, Wanla area, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, coll. K. Dorjey, S. Kumar and Y.P. Sharma (Image 1 a,b & Image 2 a–c).

Carpophore: 3.0–3.8 cm in diameter, saucer or cup shaped, grey-brown (vintage walnut), buffy olive towards outer, margins slightly splitted, smooth, ribs prominent, whitish to creamish, extending nearly to the margin of the cup; stipe: 3.0–3.2 cm in length, short, white, broader to the apex and narrow towards end, interior chambered; ascospore: 12.8–16.8 × 11.2–13.6 m, sub-globose to oval, thin walled, shiny white, smooth, mono to multigattullate; asci: 160.0–232.0 m long, 12.0–14.0 m wide at the top, 14.0–16.0 m at the middle and 6.0–10.5 m at the base, elongated cylindrical, hyaline, thin walled, each ascus contain eight ascospores; paraphysis: 3.2–4 m, elongated, thin-walled, hyaline, septate, bulbous at the tip; pubescent hairs: 6.0–18.0 m, septate, branched.

Edibility: Not known

2. Helvella corium (O. Weberb.) Massee, Brit.-Fl 4:463 (1895)

Synonymy: Cowlesia corium (O. Weberb.) Nieuwl., Am. Midl. Nat. 4: 380 (1916)

Cyathipodia corium (O. Weberb.) Boud., Hist. Class. Discom. Eur. (Paris): 39 (1907)

Lachnea corium (O. Weberb.) W. Phillips, Man. Brit. Discomyc. (London): 204 (1887)

Paxina corium (O. Weberb.) W. Seaver, North American Cup-fungi, (Operculates) (New York): (1928)

Material examined: BHJU 185, 03.viii.2010, Humicolous, scattered, mixed forest of Salix alba, S. excelsa. Populus nigra, Wanla area, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, coll. K. Dorjey, S. Kumar and Y.P. Sharma  (Image 1 f,g & Image 2 i–l).

Carpophore: 1–2.5 cm in diameter, blackish-brown, from inside as well as outside, depressed, surface smooth, dull, dry, crenate; stipe: 1.5–2.0 cm in length, solid, concolorous with carpophore; ascospore: 14.4–20.0 × 8.8–11.2 m, rounded ellipsoid, thin walled, smooth, hyaline with a large central oil droplet; asci: 204–280 m long, 12.0–20.0 m wide at the top, 14.0–18.0 m at the middle and 8.0–14.0 m at the base, elongated, cylindrical, thin walled, hyaline, each ascus contain eight ascospores, arranged uniseriate to obliquely placed; paraphysis: 4.0–6.0 m wide, slender with bulbous at the tip, septate, thin-walled, hyaline; pubescent hair: 12.0–18.0 m wide, brown, septate, branched.

Edibility: Not known

3. Helvella macropus (Pers.) P. Bidr. Knn. Finl. Nat. Folk 19: 37 (1871)

Synonymy: Cyathipodia macropus (Pers.) Dennis, British Cup Fungi & their Allies: 7 (1960)

Helvella bulbosa (Hedw.) Kreisel, Boletus, SchrReihe 1: 29 (1984)

Lachnea macropus (Pers.) W. Phillips, Man. Brit. Discomyc. (London): 207 (1887)

Macropodia bulbosa (Hedw.) Fr., Syst. Mycol. (Lundae) 2(1): 58 (1822)

Macroscyphus macropus (Pers.) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 372 (1821)

Octospora bulbosa Hedw., Descr. micr.-anal. musc. frond. 2: 34 (1789)

Material examined: BHJU 186, 05.vii.2010, humicolous, scattered, mixed forests of Salix excelsa, S. alba, Populus nigra and Mentha longifolia, Wanla area, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, coll. K. Dorjey, S. Kumar and Y.P. Sharma (Image 1c & Image 2d–f).

Carpophore: 1.2-2.8 cm in diameter, cup-shaped, hymenium dark grayish-brown ribs prominent, whitish to cream colour, extending nearly to the margin of the cup; stipe: 1.5–2.5 cm long, slightly swollen near the base, upper part concolorous, below paler, smooth; ascospore: 14.7–17.6x8.0–10.4 m, sub-globose to ellipsoidal, thin-walled, shiny white; asci: 200.0–280.0 m long, 10.0-12.0 m wide at the top, and 12.5-16.0 m at the middle and 6.5–9.5 m at the base, elongated cylindrical, hyaline, thin walled, each ascus contain eight ascospores; paraphysis: 4.0–6.0 m wide, elongated, thin walled, hyaline, septate; pubescent hairs: 6.0–26.0 m, septate, branched.

Edibility: Not known.

4. Helvella queletii Bres., Fung. trident. 1(3): 39 (1882)

Synonymy: Acetabula queletii (Bres.) Benedix, Kulturpflanze 10: 365 (1962)

Material examined: BHJU 190, 07.vii.2010, humicolous, scattered, mixed forests of Populus nigra, Prunus armeniaca, Wanla area, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, K. Dorjey, S. Kumar and Y.P. Sharma (Image 1 d,e & Image 2 g,h).

Carpophore: 4.5–5.0 cm in diameter, saucer or cup shaped, hymenium smoke gray, margins entire, smooth, exterior creamish; stipe: 2.0–2.5 cm long, short, white with branching ribs that don not extend onto the cup, white; ascospore: 10.0–16.0×8.0–12.0 m, sub-globose to oval, thin walled, shiny white; asci: 200–240 m long, 12.0–14.0 m wide at the top, 12.5–18.0 m at the middle and 6.0–10.0 m at the base, elongated cylindrical, hyaline, thin walled, each ascus contain eight ascospores; paraphysis: 4.0–6.0 m wide elongated, thin walled, hyaline, septate; pubescent hairs: 8.0–16.0 m wide, septate, branched.

Edibility: Not known.

The survey of literature (Purkayastha & Chandra 1976, 1985; Bilgrami et al. 1991; Sarbhoy et al. 1975, 1996; Jamaluddin et al. 2004) reveals that Helvella acetabulum, H. corium and H. queletii are new additions to Indian macrofungi while H. macropus constitutes first authentic record from Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.      

 

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